Revisiting Anglican Classics 7: F.D. Maurice, The Kingdom of Christ

This is probably going to be one of the more contentious posts in this series.  That’s not because there’s much dispute about the importance of The Kingdom of Christ in Anglican theological history – there’s some, but generally scholars recognize this is a significant book – but because most people trying to read it seemContinue reading “Revisiting Anglican Classics 7: F.D. Maurice, The Kingdom of Christ”

Revisiting Anglican Classics 6: Lancelot Andrewes’s Preces Privatae

For most of us, Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), bishop successively of Chichester, Ely and Winchester, is not much more than a name, famed for his great learning, and celebrated by T.S. Eliot, whose poem ‘Journey of the Magi’ draws on sermons, and whose essays For Lancelot Andrewes (1928) contain his public affirmation as a royalist andContinue reading “Revisiting Anglican Classics 6: Lancelot Andrewes’s Preces Privatae”

Ukraine: defining and redefining Orthodoxy

            I returned a couple of days ago from accompanying the Archbishop of Canterbury to Kyiv, to meet church leaders and learn something of what they and their people have experienced this year.  It would be extremely presumptuous of me – foolhardy even – to go on to pretend that I have anything more thanContinue reading “Ukraine: defining and redefining Orthodoxy”

Reflections on Lambeth 2022 – ‘Can it stretch, or will it break?’

Hans Frei’s words – or rather a paraphrase of them – have been at the back of my mind over the last two weeks, as I’ve been present at most of the plenary days of the Lambeth Conference.  Probably the first thing to strike me, when I arrived in the searing heat which has driedContinue reading “Reflections on Lambeth 2022 – ‘Can it stretch, or will it break?’”

On not leaving the Church of England

            The goings on at Christ Church, Oxford over the last four years have been bewildering for all disinterested observers.  I’m in the position of knowing people on both ‘sides’.  I’ve known Martyn Percy for many years, and hold him in great esteem.  I don’t know if he’d count me as a friend, but I’mContinue reading “On not leaving the Church of England”

Revisiting Anglican classics 5: John Keble’s Christian Year

            It’s something of a surprise to many people to learn that one of the best-selling poetry books of the nineteenth century was by an Anglican priest.  John Keble’s Christian Year was published in 1827.  Sub-titled Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays throughout the Year, it sold in the hundreds of thousands throughoutContinue reading “Revisiting Anglican classics 5: John Keble’s Christian Year”

Revisiting Anglican Classics 4: Hannah More’s Practical Piety

            There can’t be many readers of this post who have heard of, let alone read, Hannah More’s Practical Piety (1811).    It’s not a work of great literary merit, nor is it particularly original theologically.  It is not available today in a modern critical edition.  Although it was reprinted many times in the nineteenth century,Continue reading “Revisiting Anglican Classics 4: Hannah More’s Practical Piety”

Whither Church reform? 1: Problems of the de-centralization agenda

            Another front has opened up in the internal conflicts of the Church of England in the last two or three years, bypassing the deep-set fissures over gender equality and human sexuality.  With the quarrels over the ordination of women largely resolved – I don’t at all mean that there aren’t continuing disparities and concerns,Continue reading “Whither Church reform? 1: Problems of the de-centralization agenda”

Gold, frankincense – and myth

            One of the things that doesn’t get easier year by year, when you’re ordained, is trying to find new things to say about the Christmas story that don’t unintentionally upset people who remain wedded to the literal truth of everything they absorbed about Christmas when they were young.  It’s to no avail – especiallyContinue reading “Gold, frankincense – and myth”